Jeremiah 31:3-4 I have loved thee with an everlasting love
Isaiah compared the relationship of God and Israel to the relationship between a man and his young wife. Jeremiah continues the theme started in Isaiah, “For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee. In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the Lord thy Redeemer.” (Isa 54:7-8) Jeremiah proclaims the same, “I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee (home from the four quarters of the earth). Again I will build thee, and thou shalt be built, O virgin of Israel.” The prophecy will be fulfilled both temporally, with respect to land and location, and spiritually, as Israel falls in love with the Lord as a virgin falls in love with her suitor.
Two great world centers will be established prior to the Second Coming: Jerusalem as one center for the gathering of the Jews; and Zion in the Americas for the gathering of the house of Joseph. Verses 1-5 seem to be speaking of the former, and verses 6-9 seem to be speaking of the latter.
Jeremiah 31:6 the watchmen upon the mount Ephraim shall cry, Arise ye, and let us go up to Zion unto the Lord our God
The apostles and prophets of the Restoration—the apostles and prophets since the Restoration—are “the watchmen upon mount Ephraim.” Called primarily through the lineage of Ephraim, the latter-day leaders of the kingdom have been inviting Israel to come home since 1830. The gathering has commenced; it has accelerated; it will hasten in its time (D&C 88:73). “The watchmen upon the mount Ephraim” are the latter-day version of those who publish peace:
How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that published peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!
Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice; with the voice together shall they sing: for they shall see eye to eye, when the Lord shall bring again Zion. (Isa. 52:7-8)
It would appear that Jeremiah wrote a portion of the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints approximately 2500 years before it occurred.
This was a cry from "the watchmen upon mount Ephraim. . . . Arise ye and let us go up to Zion unto the Lord our God."… This was to be a gathering of the descendants of Joseph and Ephraim, "to Zion unto the Lord our God."
"Sing with gladness for Jacob." Why? Because the day of his redemption was nigh.
"Shout among the chief of the nations." (v. 7) The Elders of this Church had been sent to Great Britain (1846), the Scandinavian countries, Germany, etc., the chief nations, and had gathered in many converts to Nauvoo, Illinois.
"I will bring them . . . a great company shall return thither." (v. 8) This was something the Lord was going to do. Note that Jeremiah does not say that they will return hither, or to the place where this prediction was made, but thither, or to a distant place. He understood that Joseph was to be given a new land in the "utmost bound of the everlasting hills." (See Genesis 49:22-26; Deuteronomy 33:13-17.) (Israel! Do You Know? [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1954], 177-178)
Jeremiah 31:8-9 a great company shall return thither
A "great company" was to "return thither," and with them "the blind and the lame, the woman with child and her that travaileth with child together," and "they shall come with weeping, and with supplications will I lead them." About twenty thousand Latter-day Saints were driven out of Nauvoo, and with them "the blind and the lame, the woman with child." They did not leave their beautiful homes because they wanted to, hence they came "weeping" and with "supplications" unto the Lord, and He led them as He had promised.
"I will cause them to walk by the rivers of waters in a straight way, wherein they shall not stumble." In their trek from Nauvoo, Illinois, across the great American desert to the Salt Lake Valley, the saints traveled about six hundred miles along the North Platte River, as Jeremiah had seen.
"Therefore they shall come and sing in the height of Zion." (v. 12) At this writing (1954) the Tabernacle Choir, at Salt Lake City, Utah, consisting of approximately 375 unpaid voices broadcasts weekly "from the crossroads of the west." They are in their twenty-sixth year of weekly nation-wide broadcasts. This represents but a small part of the singing that is done "in the height of Zion." (Israel! Do You Know? [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1954], 177-178)
Jeremiah 31:9 I will cause them to walk by the rivers of waters in a straight way, wherein they shall not stumble
The thirty-first chapter of Jeremiah is but "Mormon" history written three thousand years ago when the Lord said through Jeremiah:
For there shall be a day, that the watchman upon the mount Ephraim shall cry, Arise ye, and let us go up to Zion unto the Lord our God. (Jeremiah 31:6.)
Then he indicates that the Lord would gather them from the coasts of the earth, and with them the blind and the lame, the woman with child, a great company should return thither. They should come with weeping and supplications, and he promised that he would cause them to walk by the rivers of waters in a straight way, wherein they should not stumble. And when the pioneers came to these valleys of the mountains, they traveled some six hundred miles along the Platte and North Platte rivers, fulfilling literally the words of Jeremiah in the gathering of the people to Ephraim's mountains, and they did come as a great multitude and with them their sick and their lame and the blind and the woman with child, and they came sorrowing because they were driven from their homes. And how did Jeremiah know all this three thousand years ago if… there is no way men can know things before they actually transpire? (Conference Report, April 1947, Afternoon Meeting 44 - 45)
Jeremiah 31:9 Ephraim is my firstborn
Ephraim was not the firstborn. He was the second son of the eleventh son. Manasseh was Joseph’s first son not Ephraim (Gen 41:51-52). So what does Jeremiah mean, “Ephraim is my firstborn”? As with Esau and Jacob wherein the birthright went to the younger brother, so Joseph made sure that Ephraim received the birthright under the hand of his father Jacob (Gen. 48:13-14).
In the last days, Ephraim is the Lord’s firstborn. He is the instrument of the Restoration. He is the first to build up Zion. He is the first to receive the blessings of the Priesthood. He is the first to return to the House of the Lord. He is the first to cry, “Come unto Zion, for the Lord thy God reigneth.” As firstborn, Ephraim will rule into the Millennium, when his privilege will be to administer the saving ordinances of the temple to his gathered brethren from “the north country” and “the coasts of the earth.” (v. 8)
Joseph Fielding Smith
We learn, then, that when these glorious times shall come the children of Ephraim shall be "servants" of the Lord. Ephraim shall stand in the full glory of his birthright at the head, to minister to his fellow tribesmen. What a glory is his! What honor bestowed upon him now when he is no longer rebellious! And the Lord adds:
Behold, this is the blessing of the everlasting God upon the tribes of Israel, and the richer blessings upon the head of Ephraim and his fellows. (D&C 133:34)
It is Ephraim, today, who holds the Priesthood. It is with Ephraim that the Lord has made covenant and has revealed the fulness of the everlasting Gospel. It is Ephraim who is building temples and performing the ordinances in them for both the living and the dead. When the "lost tribes" come—and it will be a most wonderful sight and a marvelous thing when they do come to Zion—in fulfillment of the promises made through Isaiah and Jeremiah, they will have to receive the crowning blessings from their brother Ephraim, the "first-born" in Israel. (The Way to Perfection [Salt Lake City: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1949], 125)
Jeremiah 31:10 declare it in the isles… he that scattered Israel will gather him
Bruce R. McConkie
Hear it again, O ye scattered ones, and let it be written in every heart. Ephraim shall bring salvation to you in the last days. Ephraim shall hear the word from the Lord and proclaim it to you. In his hands shall be the Stick of Joseph, which is the Stick of Ephraim, which is the Book of Mormon which contains the fulness of the everlasting gospel, which is the standard around which all men must either rally or be damned. The call shall come unto you from the mountains of Ephraim. Be wise and give heed.
"For thus saith the Lord; Sing with gladness for Jacob, and shout among the chief of the nations: publish ye, praise ye, and say, O Lord, save thy people, the remnant of Israel." Salvation now goes forth to the scattered remnants in all the nations of their habitation. Publish the word; praise the Lord. Cry Salvation, and Glory, and Honor. The promised day of restoration is here. (The Millennial Messiah: The Second Coming of the Son of Man [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1982], 194)
Bruce R. McConkie
Our divine commission to bring Israel to Zion is recorded in our revelations. But it can also be read in the inspired decisions of the living oracles who send forth the elders of Israel, duly and properly instructed, to tell the people in all nations where and under what circumstances they shall gather in their day and situation. One of the greatest of the written calls came in a revelation to the Prophet Joseph Smith on November 3, 1831, a mere nineteen months after the Church and kingdom of God had been set up again on earth in this final gospel dispensation. It is to this wondrous document of superlative worth, and one filled with dynamic expression, that we shall first give our attention. Then we shall note some other revealed statements and weave them all into the inspired procedures ordained by those who hold the keys of gathering and who are thereby empowered to specify the place and direct the manner in which each soul in scattered Israel shall gather.
Speaking to his newly established church, to the little flock gathered into his latter-day sheepfold, to those who already believed his word and sought to learn and do his will, the Lord said: "Prepare ye, prepare ye, O my people; sanctify yourselves; gather ye together, O ye people of my church, upon the land of Zion, all you that have not been commanded to tarry." The Lord always gathers his people. In this wicked world they must come together to strengthen each other in the holy faith. They must assemble in congregations to teach one another the doctrines of the kingdom. They must use their united strength to bear the burdens of each other, to mourn with those who mourn, and to comfort those who go stand in need of comfort. They must come where the temples of God stand so as to be endowed with power from on high. (The Millennial Messiah: The Second Coming of the Son of Man [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1982], 290)
Jeremiah 3:12 they shall come and sing in the height of Zion
Jeremiah says in his thirty-first chapter—"Behold I will bring them from the north, the blind and the lame with them, and the woman with child; they shall come, a great company out of the north countries." Where will they go to? Will they go immediately to Palestine, where they formerly had their inheritance? No. Jeremiah tells us where they will go; he tells us there is to be a place called Zion before these tribes come out of the north countries, and when they come with a great company, the blind and the lame with them, and the Lord God leads them with supplication and with tears and with prayers, bringing them forth from those dreary, desolate, cold arctic regions: when that day shall come there shall be a Zion prepared to receive these ten tribes, before they finally go back to Palestine. Is there anything in the Scriptures about this? Yes. In the same chapter of Jeremiah we read that "they shall come and sing in the height of Zion." Zion, then, will have to be built up before they come; Zion will have to be reared somewhere and prepared to receive them; and it will be a holy place, and it will be a holy people who will build up Zion, so much so that the Lord will bring these ten tribes in to the height of Zion, into the midst of it.
What will then take place? They shall flow together to the goodness of the Lord, for the wheat, the wine, the oil, or the young of the flock; their souls shall be as a watered garden, and they shall not sorrow any more at all. Why? Because they have got among a good people, where there is no need to sorrow; they have come up into a land that is choice above all other lands, a land that brings forth wheat, and grapes for the producing of wine, where flocks, herds, &c., are multiplied, and their souls will be like a watered garden, and all the sorrows they have experienced for twenty-five hundred years, in the cold regions of the north, will be done away; and they will not sorrow any more at all. (Journal of Discourses, 26 vols. [London: Latter-day Saints' Book Depot, 1854-1886], 18: 23)
Jeremiah 31:14 I will satiate the soul of the priests with fatness
I do not believe you could go anywhere in the world and find men engaged in the ministry, I care not how great their salaries are, who would testify that the Lord has satiated their souls with fatness and they are satisfied with the Lord's goodness to them, as are you brethren who bear the Priesthood of God and are privileged to feed the flock under His divine leadership and inspiration. (Conference Report, April 1943, Second Day—Morning Meeting 47)
Jeremiah 31:15 A voice was heard in Ramah… Rahel weeping
Rahel is another form of the name Rachel. Jacob’s wife, Rachel died in childbirth and was buried near Bethlehem. The tribe of her last son Benjamin would inherit the land around Jerusalem, including the towns of Bethlehem, Beth-el, and Ramah (Josh. 18:21-28).
And they journeyed from Beth-el; and there was but a little way to come to Ephrath: and Raachel travailed, and she had hard labour…
And Rachel died, and was buried in the way to Ephrath (see Micah 5:2), which is Beth-lehem. And Jacob set a pillar upon her grave (Gen. 35:16-20)
Ramah and Rachel are both associated with the area of Bethlehem. Specifically, the village of Ramah and the tomb of Rachel suggest both the neighboring villages and the actual town wherein Herod’s cruel act would be carried out. “Herod… slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts” or neighboring villages. (Matt. 2:16)
Jeremiah 31:15 Rahel weeping for her children refused to be comforted for her children because they were not
Herod’s infanticide should go down in history as one of the most evil acts ever recorded. Herod the Great should be known as Herod the Terrible. His paranoia and wickedness seem unsurpassed in the annals of despotism. Of his sons, Herod was perpetually suspicious. Concerned that one of his sons was guilty of sedition, he had his son’s friends tortured in order to extract information from them. This torture resulted not in confession but in the death of many of the young men. (Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, Book XVI, 8:4). Josephus writes, “he was…overrun with suspicion and hatred against all about him…in order to his preservation, he continued to suspect those that were guiltless: nor did he set any bounds to himself; but supposing that those who stayed with him had the most power to hurt him, they were to him very frightful.” This mentality lead to mental illness with paranoid delusions, “because he could trust nobody, he was sorely punished by the expectation of further misery; for he often fancied in his imagination, that his son had fallen upon him, or stood by him with a sword in his hand; and thus was his mind night and day intent upon this thing, and revolved it over and over…And this was the sad condition Herod was now in.” (Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, Book XVI, 8:5) Predictably, Herod had three of his own sons killed: Alexander, Aristobulus, and Antipater.
“The cup of Herod's misdeeds, but also of his misery, was full. During the whole latter part of his life, the dread of a rival to the throne had haunted him, and he had sacrificed thousands, among them those nearest and dearest to him, to lay that ghost. And still the tyrant was not at rest. A more terrible scene is not presented in history than that of the closing days of Herod. Tormented by nameless fears; ever and again a prey to vain remorse, when he would frantically call for his passionately-loved, murdered wife Mariamme, and her sons; even making attempts on his own life; the delirium of tyranny, the passion for blood, drove him to the verge of madness. The most loathsome disease, such as can scarcely be described, had fastened on his body, and his sufferings were at times agonizing.” (Edersheim, Alfred, Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah, p. 151)
The news of a new king, heralded by prophecy, accompanied by foreign dignitaries, and pronounced by a new star in the heavens must have struck a familiar, paranoid chord in Herod. While a rational person would have seen no threat in the birth of the infant, Herod was near the end of his reign, in failing health, and well beyond reason. Still, he managed some shrewdness in his devious plan to destroy the potential rival, obtaining the two pieces of information he most needed: the location and timing of Jesus’ birth.
Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,
Saying, Where is the child that is born, the Messiah of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and have come to worship him.
When Herod the king had heard of the child, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.
And when he had gathered all the chief priests, and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them, saying, Where is the place that is written of by the prophets, in which Christ should be born? For he greatly feared, yet he believed not the prophets.
And they said unto him, It is written by the prophets, that he should be born in Bethlehem of Judea, for thus have they said,
The word of the Lord came unto us, saying, And thou Bethlehem, which lieth in the land of Judea, in thee shall be born a prince, which art not the least among the princes of Judea; for out of thee shall come the Messiah, who shall save my people Israel.
Then Herod, when he had called the wise men privily, inquired of them diligently what time the star appeared.
And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found the child, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also. (Matt. 2:1-8)
Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth; and sent forth and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men.
Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying,
In Ramah there was a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning; Rachael weeping for the loss of her children, and would not be comforted because they were not. (Matt. 2:16-18)
Jeremiah 31:17 there is hope in thine end, saith the Lord, that thy children shall come again to their own border
The children of Bethlehem were lost in Herod’s slaughter. Verse 17 contains a remarkable promise—they will come home like children who had run away and later returned. How is that possible seeing they are dead?
Well, the Lord fixes things in the Millennium. Those mothers who lost children by Herod’s evil sword will have the chance to raise them in the day of redemption, “And there shall be no sorrow because there is no death. In that day an infant shall not die until he is old” (D&C 101:30), and “their children shall grow up without sin unto salvation” (D&C 45:58), and “all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children.” (Isa. 54:13)
Jeremiah 31:21 Set thee up way marks, make thee high heaps: set thine heart toward the highway, even the way which thou wentest: turn again
This is a call for the 10 tribes of Israel (of whom Ephraim was the lead tribe) to return to Zion. They are to mark the path and turn their hearts to a special highway, “there shall be an highway for the remnant of his people” (Isa. 11:16).
…prepare ye the way of the people; cast up, cast up the highway; gather out the stones; lift up a standard for the people.
Behold the Lord hath proclaimed unto the end of the world, Say ye to the daughter of Zion, Behold, thy salvation cometh; behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him.
And they shall call them, The holy people, the redeemed of the Lord: and thou shalt be called, Sought out, a city not forsaken. (Isa 62:10-12)
Jeremiah 31:29-30 The fathers have eaten a sour grape, and the children’s teeth are set on edge
One of the greatest curses is when the children suffer because of the sins of their fathers. When one generation’s apostasy is passed on, the effects can be devastating for generations. When just one man is sexually abusive to his children, it sets in motion a potential cascade of abuse for his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. When an alcoholic’s dysfunction affects his home and children, the family suffers for generations.
The Lord warned Israel from the first, “I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me.” While the Lord seems to take ownership of the iniquity that is passed upon the children, the blame resides with the first disobedient generation. The consequences for the next generation follow in natural succession. Spencer W. Kimball noted:
“It is amazing how many divorces come to the children when the mother and the father are divorced. It is amazing how easy it is for the children to fail the family prayers when the parents fail in their family prayers. It is not surprising when children will not go to church or their meetings when the father and the mother do not go. Do you see the sour grapes? They go right on down through the generation.” (BYU Studies, vol. 25 (1985), Number 4 - Fall 1985 151)
The more heinous sins, in particular, affect multiple generations. This is why Laman and Lemuel were held responsible for the apostasy of the Lamanites (2 Ne. 4:6). This is why breaking the covenant Moses made for Israel brought dangerous consequences for the children:
Thy sons and thy daughters shall be given unto another people, and thine eyes shall look, and fail with longing for them all the day long…
Thou shalt beget sons and daughters, but thou shalt not enjoy them; for they shall go into captivity…
And thou shalt eat the fruit of thine own body, the flesh of thy sons and of thy daughters which the Lord thy God hath given thee, in the siege, and in the straitness, wherewith thine enemies shall distress thee. (Deut. 28:32, 41, 53)
The history of Israel had unfortunately seen the fulfillment of the curses brought upon the children. Jeremiah’s rejoicing is in the day that the children will no longer suffer because of the parents. When Israel is finally righteous again, when the covenant is no longer broken, when the sins of the fathers are no longer passed on to the next generation, all Israel will have reason to rejoice. No more will the children have a bad taste in their mouth because the father’s choice to eat sour grapes.
Joseph Fielding Smith
The Lord never punishes a child for its parents' transgressions. He is just and merciful. The real meaning of this visiting of the iniquity is that when a man transgresses he teaches his children to transgress, and they follow his teachings. It is natural for children to follow in the practices of their fathers and by doing so suffer for the parents' iniquity which they have voluntarily brought upon themselves. (Answers to Gospel Questions, 5 vols. [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1957-1966], 1: 81)
Jeremiah 31:31 I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel
The apostle Paul had the difficult task of explaining to the Jewish Christians that the Law of Moses was fulfilled. He had to explain there was a new and higher law, a new and higher covenant, and a new and higher priesthood. Paul’s brilliant explanation occupies most of Hebrews 7-10. Therein he quotes Jeremiah 31:31-32 (see Hebrews 8:8-11). However, the Jewish converts to Christianity never reached the point of righteousness that Jeremiah spoke of. The prophecy was not fulfilled in Paul’s day; the meridian saints didn’t get even close to the description that all should know the Lord “from the least to the greatest” (Heb. 8:11).
The new and everlasting covenant that Paul was trying to teach the saints was lost for a dispensation. It therefore had to be revealed again, “Behold, I say unto you that all old covenants have I caused to be done away in this thing; and this is the new and everlasting covenant, even that which was from the beginning.” (D&C 22:1) The covenant is from everlasting; it is new only to the generation in which it is restored. To the Jews of Paul’s day, the idea of a covenant relationship with Christ was new. To the house of Israel in the latter-days, the idea of a covenant relationship with the Lord through the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is new.
Dallin H. Oaks
The New Testament teaches that Christ was “the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises” (Heb. 8:6). The Prophet Joseph Smith declared that this covenant was not put in force at the time of Christ’s mortal ministry because Israel rejected him (see Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pp. 14–15). In a revelation given the same month the restored Church was organized, the Lord declared, “I say unto you that all old covenants have I caused to be done away in this thing; and this is a new and an everlasting covenant, even that which was from the beginning” (D&C 22:1).
The covenant described in these scriptures, made new by its renewal and confirmation in these latter days, refers to our covenant relationship with Jesus Christ. It incorporates the fulness of the gospel (see D&C 66:2; D&C 132:6), which President Joseph Fielding Smith described as “the sum total of all gospel covenants and obligations” (Doctrines of Salvation, 1:156). (“Another Testament of Jesus Christ,” Ensign, Mar. 1994, 63–64)
Bruce R. McConkie
Hear it and mark it well: it will be a new covenant, a new and an everlasting covenant; it will be the fulness of the everlasting gospel, not in name only, but in fact and in deed, in active operation in the lives of men. It will be "not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the Lord." When the Lord brought Israel out of Egypt he offered them the fulness of the gospel. Moses held the Melchizedek Priesthood, and his people could have lived the higher gospel law had they chosen to do so. But they broke not only the gospel covenant but also the Mosaic or lesser covenant, at least in large measure.
"But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people." There will be a day when latter-day Israel will serve the Lord with all their hearts and make themselves worthy of the fulness of his glory. (The Millennial Messiah: The Second Coming of the Son of Man [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1982], 681)
Jeremiah 31:33 I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts
Have you ever been frustrated with the repetitive nature of the temple endowment? Have you ever felt to doze off during a session? Have you wondered why the same information is repeated over and over again? What is the Lord trying to do? Doesn’t he know how much we like variety? Why must we hear the same thing over and over again?
Jeremiah has the answer. The Lord controls the content of our temple teaching because he has a special goal for us—to place the law in our inward parts and to write the principles in our hearts. The repetition allows us to internalize key principles; key principles allow us to stay true to our covenants. Latter-day saints who rarely pick up the scriptures are often very familiar with temple doctrines. They may know little about Paul’s ministry, but they know what the Lord expects of them. They may know nothing of the covenant Moses made on Sinai, but they know their temple covenants.
“Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ… written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart” (2 Cor. 3:3) The temple is where the Lord writes his law upon the fleshy tables of our hearts, because this is where the Lord can teach us how to walk in his statutes and keep his ordinances that we will be worthy to be called his people.
Jeremiah 31:34 they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest
In the Millennium, “the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea” (Isa 11:9).
[In] the millennium… universal peace will be established upon the earth, and the Kingdom of our God [will] prevail in all lands—a day when the servants of God may bear the glad tidings to all people, nations, kindreds and tongues upon all the face of the earth, and there shall be none to molest them, or make them afraid. The truth will abound and light and understanding come to the people. It will be a day of great light in every corner of the land—the day spoken of by the Prophet Isaiah, wherein he says the knowledge of the Lord shall cover the earth as the waters cover the sea—the day when they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, know the Lord; for they shall all know Him from the least of them to the greatest of them—a day when “every man shall see eye to eye.” Prophets and Saints have looked for such a period, have longed for it, have prayed for it, have sung about it, have prophesied of it, and they have spoken of the work that should bring it about. Are all these prophecies fallacious? Are all these hopes vain? Will all these expectations come to naught? Or are they to be fulfilled? With the Latter-day Saints there is but one answer to this question. The Lord has opened their understanding, has touched their eyes, has pricked them in the ear, has comforted them, and has given to them the Holy Ghost. (Journal of Discourses, 25:69-70)
Jeremiah 31:40 the whole valley of the dead bodies, and of the ashes, and all the fields unto the brook of Kidron… shall be holy unto the Lord
Today the hills on either side of the Kidron valley are covered with Arab cemeteries—to the west and to the east. Symbolically all unholy things were to be outside the city walls. For a Jew nothing could be more unholy than a dead body—especially an Arab one. By tradition, this area is profane to the Jews because touching anything dead makes one unclean. This dynamic will change in the millennial day; though the valley will be full of dead bodies, the Lord will sanctify it and make it holy. These tombs are probably not what Jeremiah means by the “whole valley of the dead bodies.” That probably refers to the casualties of the Second Coming conflict. But the valley is covered with the tombs of dead bodies already.
The east side of the valley of Kidron against the walls of Jerusalem. At the base of the walls of Jerusalem and most of the picture on the right show the sepulchres of mostly Arab graves.
The other side of the Kidron valley is the Mount of Olives. Some olive groves can be seen on the far left but half of the Mount of Olives is now covered in centuries of sepulchres.